Recent comments

  • GF Fall Fair new organizers pull off fun event   1 year 21 weeks ago

    The Grand Forks Fall Fair was not cancelled this spring because there weren't enough volunteers to come forward and organize it. The Grand Forks Fall Fair was cancelled because there weren't enouph people to help the organizers. The Fair was organized but it need volunteers to make it all happen. The River Valley Community Church stepped up and helped with the labour... not the organizing!

  • OP/ED: A first and last comment on 9-11.   1 year 21 weeks ago


    Wow, people still go for the conspiracy myth, eh?

  • OP/ED: A first and last comment on 9-11.   1 year 21 weeks ago

    Not cynical Tom, nor controversial. Just taboo. But it's a fact. A difficult one for many to accept, but a fact nonetheless, as history will eventually record.

    A great weight of physical and circumstantial evidence supports the conclusion: a very small group of leaders in Bush's administration and the US military, perhaps as few as three or four, not necessarily including Bush, caught wind of the impending terrorist action and engaged a select crew of special forces to plant thermite explosives in the WTC buildings to exacerbate the event and roll in the new world order.

    Leaders of the military-industrial complex had been waiting for just such a "Pearl Harbour" for many years...when it came, it just turned out they needed to help it out to get the kind of drama a plane simply sticking out of a building just doesn't deliver.

    And, as any ad man will tell you, September's a great month to roll out a new product...or ask Pinochet.

    I was a dishwasher on Hornby island on that terrible day. And the first thing I thought, in a split second, was "that looks like a controlled demolition." Skyscrapers are designed to burn and not fall, and to absorb airplane impacts. Airplane fuel does not burn nearly hot enough to melt steel, nor does anything else in these buildings. Is there any such steel building that has collapsed in that manner due to a fire? And how would it burn so symmetrically? The pancake theory falls entirely flat. As did the third building, despite no impact or significant fire. And when the dust settled, it was filled with residues and byproducts of high tech thermite explosives.

    The Reichstag fire lit by the Nazis and blamed on communists gets covered in our history texts as a genuine conspiracy that helped push Hitler into power. Why? Because Hitler eventually lost. Because, we think, only someone as mad as Hitler would conceive of a self-inflicted wound to advance sociopolitcal and military objectives...

    No, it's an old trick, and one we should expect, if we are savvy readers of power, politics, and history.

    While the victors of 9/11 remain in power, the ones who got everything they ever dreamed of—increased security and military spending, much stricter controls on civil society and a vast ramp-up on Big Brother—they can continue to seed the media with enough doubt (a la tobacco companies) and truly ridiculous conspiracy theories that discredit the fully reasonable ones... well, then we have a situation where more than a decade later the majority of people continue to be duped.

    Go ahead, give me a thumbs down for speaking the truth. But until people understand the real significance of 9/11—The Nail in the Coffin of Democracy—then what is left our freedom will continue to wither and dry, a slow death characterized by perpetual war, diminishing rights, increasing poverty, centralized oligarchic control, and all the other trappings of a miiltary-industrial future that our sci-fi authors have warned us against for generations.

  • OP/ED: A first and last comment on 9-11.   1 year 22 weeks ago

    Well expressed Kyra.  I think we all suffer from the frustration and or syndrome that you refer to.  However: no matter how broad your experience or thinking, analysis or perception, the (NIMBY) principal brings alot to bare here.

    I also find it very depressing that individuals like the shrub, (George Bush Jr. & Company) would be so opportunistic to harness such tragedy for their own gain, especially when general speculation is that they may have engineered it.

    Terrible to be so synical, but?


  • LETTER: Strike is 'nefarious' and 'manufactured' and should frighten parents   1 year 22 weeks ago

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jason. I agree that this strike is about something bigger than teachers--and even kids. It's about our Constitution and the desire of government to whittle away at it if they can. Where does the whittling stop? Nowhere. Hence the need for a general strike: this is a matter of grave concern to ALL Canadians.

    There's no doubt the class size/composition issue was inserted as an insurmountable obstacle--and purposely so--by the Clark government. Whether to lead to a voucher system or to break the back of a troublesome union, only time will tell. Labour organization began in BC over a century ago with the broken heads of miners in Rossland. Will it end in 2014 with the broken backs of teachers?

    What's clear here, though, is that the BC 'Liberals' are intent upon union busing one way or another. Anyone who thinks that class size and composition aren't legitimate workplace issues that teachers have a right to their say nuts. Would you tell a Teck or Celgar worker that they couldn't bargain about steel-toed boots or air quality? We're at the point now where massive classes filled with under-supported, deeply-challenged students are the norm, not the exception in BC. It's rapidly becoming a job that no one can do capably and happily/healthily. Those who don't believe this need only spend a day in the average West Kootenay classroom to get a real sense of what teachers deal with ever day of their careers--for the lowest pay in Canada, pretty much.

    The issues at stake here are complex and easily manipulated by Clark ('they want too much money!') but my hope is that, as we move along, they're becoming steadily clearer. Thanks for your work in aiding this process!--ed.

  • LETTER: Strike is 'nefarious' and 'manufactured' and should frighten parents   1 year 22 weeks ago

    Clark has made no secret of the fact her kids attend private school. I feel her actions around health care are a harbinger of similar destruction of existing systems - and I think it's no mistake she can afford and benefit from privatization. I just don't get why so few other people can see what the BC "Liberals" (and I use that term lightly) are doing. Food for thought.


    Kyra Hoggan

  • LETTER: Strike is 'nefarious' and 'manufactured' and should frighten parents   1 year 22 weeks ago

    Thank you very much for your views on the current issues in the educational system in this province. Your viewpoint, as a parent of school age children, carries far more strength than comments by people that don't have children affected by the present situation. I hadn't thought about the connection between the Premier's use of private schooling and her extremely negative reaction to anything that may be construed as 'union support' . By allowing the teachers to continue with their (apparently futile) efforts to achieve a collective bargaining solution she is, perhaps knowingly, well on the way to bankrupt the Teacher's Association. If that happens, the 'voucher' system you mention could well be the end of real educational opportunities for all of the children who live "beyond Hope" aka the 'rest of the Province'.

    Thank again, Jason.


  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 23 weeks ago

    Witherton, I stand corrected -- but not by the materials you provided, which were Alberta law, not BC law.  I checked ... and whether or not the City of  Trail owns the bottom of Violin Lake depends on the terms of the original Crown grant of land.   If the lake was outlined in red in the original grant, then the City can own the lake-bottom.  If not, then it is owned by the Province.  It appears from the BC Land Act that the Provincial government is now keeping title to lake and stream beds for itself ... easier to give permits to mining companies to use them as tailings dumps that way  :-(   ...  Of course, the Province does keep title to all the water in lakes and streams, and makes various regulations that apply to the use of that water. The Federal government also has a say over some uses of lake and river water.

    As for the US, different states have different laws.  Some of them allow people to claim ocean beaches as "private".  Some American buyers of ocean-front land in BC have been very disappointed to learn that they do not own the beach in front of their property below the high-tide line.

  • BCTF president sends teachers back to picket lines beginning this week   1 year 24 weeks ago

    Time to send a message to the BC libs that they will listen to. A message from big business, in other words from the people that have Christie Clark's personal phone number on speed dial, wherever she tries to hide.

    How do we do that? Well, it would be nice to see other unions join the teachers in a general strike, but contract language  generally prevents that. But parents (and often grandparents) can take family time off to take care of children who find themselves not in school as expected. Or, if it is safe to so, bring your kid(s) to work. Your employer doesn't like that idea? Tell them to phone Clark up to let her know how disruptive her fight against public education is to business. I bet you the Liberals would be back at the negotiation table and a deal made within a week.

  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 24 weeks ago

    Thanks for the clarification. From the letter it seemed they were saying it was all private property. City owned property is not private, by definition. Of course the city can still choose to close it to the public.

  • BCTF president sends teachers back to picket lines beginning this week   1 year 24 weeks ago

    i wish the teachers success in their labour action, but it's hard to see it happening any time soon, simply because Fassbender and the Clarkista government are not interested in really negotiating seriously....they have an agenda....union busting....and they do that by making the teachers look bad in the eyes of the public, insofar as they are able to do so...



  • COMMENT: Lessons from Mount Polley   1 year 24 weeks ago

    thanks for this article, and i can see the mess the Clarkistas are in, with their eternal brown nosing of big Corporations....and their eternal cutting of jobs and effectivity, resulting in no real oversight of Big Business in B.C....

    unfortunately, although the Clarkistas are not so good at actually governing, and representing the PEOPLE of B.C...they are VERY good at lying propaganda which represents them as the saviours of B.C....which people in B.C. appear to believe in sufficient numbers to keep re-electing these Harpocrites in "Liberal garb"....

    these Neo Cons can not be trusted to run a home business, much less the government of our Province....and yet the voters are so stupid, or self serving that they vote them back in every me they are crooks, liars, and cheats...but to B.C voters, they appear to be "gold plated"'s totally beyond me....


  • Robin Williams made you uncomfortable? You have no idea.   1 year 24 weeks ago

    thanks Kyra for posting this article about Robin Williams, yourself, and mental must have been challenging to decide whether to go public with your own struggles with ADHD, PTSD, OCD, and so on...i was moved by your honesty, and i hope it helps your readers to realise that mental illness is very common in today's world (just as it always has been)....and that in general mentally ill people do not get the same kind of care, respect, and trust, that people suffering from any other "physical" disease would get....

    if you have cancer, no one holds it against you....if you have diabetes...the same....but if you are mentally ill (and so many actually ARE) don't dare to tell anyone, except perhaps close family members) because you KNOW it will negatively impact your life in society....

    what is needed is more people like you, Kyra, stepping up to the plate, and revealing that they too suffer from mental illnesses of various kinds....

    many great artists were/are mentally ill....depression, bi-polar, and so on...and in fact, without that illness, they may never have produced those exquisite masterpieces which are so valued today....Vincent Van Gogh springs IMMEDIATELY to mind in this case....

    it's long past high time that we discard the stigma which has always been attached to mental illness, and the people who suffer from it....

    thanks again Kyra for this excellent article about a widespread problem that is not going away anytime soon....



  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 24 weeks ago

    Hi Phil!

    The City of Trail is one of the property owners in the area. I believe this is the only property they have the right to police, unless they have some sort of arrangement with the other owners.


    Kyra Hoggan


  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 24 weeks ago

    Just wondering why the city of Trail is monitoring the Violin Lake area and cleaning up after trespassers? If it's private property shouldn't that be the owner's responsibility? Hell, I even clean up garbage and mow the lawn on city property that borders my property. I didn't know as a land owner I was able to call on the municipality to take care of problems on my property.

  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 24 weeks ago

    Actually, Sara you're wrong on those accounts.

    aaand wrong about the US too, but not important

  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 24 weeks ago

    "Zazzoo", you are  mistaken about the title to lakeshore property "below the high-water mark".  If someone owns ALL the property around a lake, they also own the lake-shore and the lake-bottom.  

    If three are two or  more private properties surrounding a lake, the property line generally divides the lake  (and its shores, and its bottom) equally among them.

    It's only on the ocean that the land below the high-water mark is public property ... and only in Canada, by the way.  It's different in the U.S. 

  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 25 weeks ago

    Well Zazzoo - unless you are planning to parachute in and then levitate out, when you "walk" into the Violin Lake area, you will still be trespassing. The entire lake area is private land no matter what mode of land transport you use. It sounds like a few slobby persons have been making a mess in that area and therefore ruining it for all.

  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 25 weeks ago

    Below the high water mark, the land is actually crown land so if a person walks into the area and is below the high water mark you can't actually kick them out.

  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   1 year 25 weeks ago

    Well if the city of Trail is actually going to log and not use this an another reason why a person should not use Violin lake. Please dont clear cut like you did 6 - 8 years ago. Hire a contractor thats not from the clear cut cutting days. Log for the future, not for greed.

  • Are you a racist? A simple test you can do at home. Part 1/2   1 year 25 weeks ago

    There's racism and there's the devastating effects of past racism, abuse, and disenfranchisement all at work here. All this needs addressing but it's not being addressed in anything even slightl approaching a satisfactory manner in this country. Money gets thrown at the problem, but the money is flung while the thrower's eyes are turned away. Why?

    I hope you're not seriously suggesting that the 'racism' an immigrant from Japan might occasionally encounter from some inbred idiot on the street is even in the same ballpark as what native people face daily when applying for jobs, looking to rent an apartment, or hoping to be served in a restaurant. I have friends from various racial backgrounds and have asked them about their experience of racism and they've always replied that 'occasionally' someone might say something insensitive. Some can't come up with anything. Compare this with the daily experience of native people.

    You agree with me that native people 'do worse' than immigrants from different racial backgrounds and yet the best you can come up with is to try to argue that the reasons are somehow merely demographic in nature. I suppose my question to you is, 'why struggle so hard to come up with an explanation of this sorry state of affairs that doesn't incorporate the elephant in the room?'

    This goes back to my original piece and the idea that, for us not to think of ourselves as racists, we, as non-natives, are forced to come up with whatever 'non-raced-based' reasons we can to explain the Third World condtions this part of our population live in. Why not just accept that native people continue to suffer in this country beause...we're willing to let them suffer?

    As to my last paragraph, I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough for you. I'll try to do better when I write the second part!--ed.

  • Are you a racist? A simple test you can do at home. Part 1/2   1 year 25 weeks ago

    It isn't as easy as looking up stats for rural white people and rural natives. Many rural white towns exist only because they provided economic opportunities and people migrated there. So it's a no brainer those communities will be better off than communities where people historically lived off the land with limited trade,  but which now don't provide jobs that can afford a modern lifestyle. I was talking about non-native towns that lost their main economic drivers several generations ago and are situated remotely. I doubt people growing up in those towns fare too well. But at least they are not dealing with the psychic aftermath of residential school or colonization.

    As for urban natives, there are still several factors working against them. The ones who migrated there probably did so to escape poor conditions where they grew up. Those conditions they grew up with often give them lasting disadvantages that they have to overcome which other urbanites don't. They also have to deal with cultural displacement, and yes they still have to deal with racial prejudices.

    Natives that grew up in urban Native communities might still have to deal with historical repercussions of residential schools and disenfranchisement. But on the whole, members of urban situated bands are better off than the average Native.

    As I've said before I do think Natives face racism, but I don't think that can explain their current situation. After all, many other immigrant groups face racism yet manage to do better than the indigenous population.


    I don't get your last paragraph at all. I hope your next article is a bit clearer on the many points you bring up in it.

  • Are you a racist? A simple test you can do at home. Part 1/2   1 year 25 weeks ago

    This is a question that could be answered by Statscan, I imagine. If one looked at remote, rural Canada, would native and non-natives be doing roughly equally well? I'm pretty sure not. And native people in urban centres chock full of opportunities are doing terribly as well.

    To claim that I'm making 'vague' accusations of racism isn't really fair since the sort of attitudes I'm talking about are necessarily 'vague' in that those who hold them will tend to deny them, given the cultural mandate for egalitarianism that the great majority of us pay lip service to in this society. Some of my best friends are...we all know the story.

    Another imagination excercise. Think of the last charity appeal you saw from sub-Saharan Africa with all those black kids and their bulging bellies and pleading eyes. Then try to imagine the same appeal populated by blonde-haired, blue-eyed tykes. It's an impossibility. This ties into the idea that the absurd concept of 'race' (of no more instrinsic signifcance than hair colour) is actually a function of capitalism in that the 'races' that get oppressed are the economic underperformers, historically. Racism is the outgrowth of the capitalistic world view--that there are 'winners' and 'losers' in life and that this is somehow natural and acceptable. But it's not.

    So there I go...starting on part 2 here in the comments section! Next week....--ed.


  • Are you a racist? A simple test you can do at home. Part 1/2   1 year 25 weeks ago

    I don't quite buy that Natives' current problems are due to racism or active oppression. If you've ever wandered into some of Canada's or the U.S.'s more remote communities that suffer chronic high unemployment due to lack of major industry, I'm sure you'll see that those citizens also have to cope with all sorts of disadvantages, regardless of race. High alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual abuse, poor health (physical and mental)...

    My point is that those disadvantages don't stem from race, just poor location, and for most of its citizens, the bad luck of growing up in such a disadvantaged community makes them in turn disadvantaged. Of course remote rural areas are overrepresented by Native people compared to other racial groups. Hence the fact statistics might make this look as a racial problem.


    And that's a big problem I see, but rarely see addressed:  that Native communities are spread pretty much all over Canada and as such are not always close to areas that offer much economic activity to support a community as we want and expect in a modern industrial age. And that's where I see a difference between racial groups: white people are more likely to uproot themselves and seek a better place to live. This is due in part to the fact they haven't lived there for as long (although there are certainly many small "white towns" that have existed for many generations), but also because non-indigenous populations see themselves as belonging to a greater cultural community than their local population. Whereas for a Native to leave their community, they risk loosing touch with their local tribe/nation and that culture, even if there are lots of Natives accross the continent because they are not all one cultural group despite their shared racial heritage. This is a problem, but it is NOT one of oppression or racism. It's also not an easily tackled problem. 

    As an aside, calling people passively racist is not a solution to anything and only serves to raise shackles, potentially even engendering racism. Let's look at actual disadvantages, let's try to remedy them, and if it is warranted let's look if race plays into it, but also HOW race plays into it, rather than merely doing some finger pointing calls of vague racism and oppression. 

  • Smoky sky advisory issued for region as fires blaze on   1 year 26 weeks ago

    This warning was lifted Wednesday.